07 Mar 2016 03:44:34 PM

Duo returns to Malaysia after 14 years abroad

Husband and wife, Soon Poh Lean and Mabel Lau spent 14 years building their respective careers in Hong Kong and United Kingdom before making the decision to return home to Malaysia.
They are honest about their overseas work experience - it provided the couple with the ability to connect and work well with people from all over and broadened their observations on best practices. Being abroad has taught them both to view their professional and personal lives on a global level. 

"We learnt that it is important to take time to understand and respect the local cultures in the countries that we have worked in as connecting with and understanding the people on the ground is key to being successful."

As experienced professionals in the financial sector - Soon is the Director of Regional Mergers & Acquisitions, Investment Banking with RHB and Mabel is the Chief Financial Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, both feel that the financial sector in Malaysia has come a long way since the Asian financial crisis in 1997.
The domestic financial market is quite advanced and dynamic compared to most of its ASEAN peers."
Citing challenges of a demanding environment, strong competition, fast paced movement of fund mobilities and the growth of financial tech (fintech) companies, the couple highlights that many local and regional institutions are becoming aware of the need to attract the right talent in order to stay ahead of the competition.

The decision to come home was not an easy one as they had settled down overseas but when family obligations came calling, the couple together with their 5 year old daughter made the move back and have not looked back since. 

The recent Chinese New Year was special for Poh Lean and Mabel as they are now able to spend more quality time with family without having to rush back to Hong Kong for work. 
Being able to spend more quality time together as a family is invaluable. We cannot be more thankful to return home to be with the family and be able to continue with our careers at the same time."
* Extracted from an interview that was first published in Going Places, Malaysia Airlines' inflight magazine, February 2016.


Employers recruiting Malaysian professionals from abroad can take advantage of the fast-track Returning Expert Programme (REP) application. 

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